Crocodile Fever: Shilpa T-Hyland’s Assistant Director Blog #4

News 22 Jul 2019

[3 minute read]

Shock! Horror! We can't believe that week 4 of Crocodile Fever rehearsals are over. Here’s Assistant Director, Shilpa to fill us in on all of the rehearsal room goings-on from last week.

Putting everything together

Predictably, I can’t believe week 4 is finished. This is one of the longer rehearsal periods I’ve worked on, but it hasn’t stopped time feeling like its moving very fast. We’ve got six weeks in total but unusually we do our tech mid-way through week five before returning to the rehearsal room in week six for a few days before we open. As a result, we’re working hard to get ready for the tech at the moment.

In week 4 the whole creative team were in and out of the room at various points. We had costume fittings, recording sessions, Emma-Claire the fight choreographer was in, and what I’ll call some rather exciting props arrived in the room which necessitated a good bit of playtime in order to get used to using them. There’s been plenty of testing things out but also hedging our bets as we won’t really know what works until we get into the space next week and can slot everything together with lights, sound and set.

Setting the tone

We’ve also been thinking about the overall tone and style of the play; the very dark comedy has moments which could be almost slapstick but also moments that will hopefully be quite moving. As we start doing runs of the show we’re beginning to get a gauge on where these moments need to sit and what the overall balance is; what kind of funny the play is, and where its reality sits. It’s a balance which we’ll keep testing and refining over the next two weeks and I’m interested to see where it finally lands.

Alongside the various 1980s music references, one of the characters is also a horror movie fan and references various 1970s and 1980s hits. As a self-confessed scaredy-cat it’s not my area of expertise, so I’ve been mugging up via some programs and books about horror movies: it’s much less scary when someone explains what’s about to happen to you! I’ve found it interesting looking at some of the tropes and tactics of horror, most interesting to me has been thinking about timing and the release of tension which seem to be as important for horror as they are for comedy. While we’re not in the horror movie business they’re a useful reference point as we finish making the show.

Last but not least we had a birthday in the rehearsal room and I took inspiration from the horror genre for a spot of baking…

The Assistant Director position for Crocodile Fever is supported by The JMK Trust. Shilpa T-Hyland is a Leverhulme Arts Scholar and recipient of the JMK regional bursary funded by the Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarships Fund.

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